September 09, 2006 01:34:02am
Re: Neal Cassidy?
In an interview published in Golden Road, Spring, 1991, p. 30, Garcia was asked about his portion of the lyric:
"Golden Road: Who or what inspired your section of "That's It For the Other One"--"The other day they waited," etc.?
Garcia: ... "Seriously, I think that's an extension of my own personal symbology for "The Man of Constant Sorrow"--the old folk song--which I always thought of as being a sort of Christ parable."
Here are some ideas on the song's meaning contributed via the WELL's Deadlit conference:
"That's it for the other one always made me think of the greats who were burned for believing "controversial" beliefs that have since become accepted fact. It also reminded me of Wilhelm Reich, whose books were being burned in the fifties. It seems to speak of making a public spectacle of the execution of a visionary. (As for Cryptical Envelopment, Bobby's contribution, it seems more a psychedelic interlude.)" -- Ryan M. Hastings
"Funny, to me it's always been symbolic of a "dying" ritual, (the need of the ego to die in order for the true spirit to be born within). In other words, the "death" was a metamorphosis & therefore was something to be desired..."--David Gans
Blair Jackson, in Grateful Dead: the Music Never Stopped has this to say about The Other One:
"The song, which the Dead frequently dedicated to Owsley and which some have suggested deals with the persecution of the acid chemist, opens with a series of serious, but pleasantly melodic verses sung by Garcia over Pigpen's liturgical organ line and Garcia's florid acoustic guitar... The tune continues to tell the tale of this ill-fated individual until the melody fades and Kreutzmann's and Hart's drums set up the relentless chugging rhythm of the next section, sung by Weir, which eulogizes Prankster Neal Cassady (who died in Mexico in early 1968 under slightly mysterious, possibly drug- related circumstances), and attempts to verbalize, to a degree, psychedelic euphoria.
Abruptly, that song closes and the music returns to the original theme sung by Garcia." (pp. 84-85)
Weir: Interesting story with "The Other One." Uh, it was one of the first tunes I ever wrote.
I was wondering what the song was about, and then one night it sort of came to me. Basically, it's a little, a little fantastic, uh, episode about my meeting Neal Cassady. I wrote the two verses - that's all there is to it, really, is two verses - and, uh, then, uh, we played the gig that night and came home the next day and when we came home we learned the news that Neal had died that night...
Weir:...the night that I wrote that. As legend has it, he died counting the railroad ties on the tracks -
Lesh: From Dallas to Denver.
Weir: Something like that. San Miguel de Allende [Mexico], I think, is where he was.
This post was modified by cream-puff-war on 2006-09-09 08:34:02